Serving false signatures to attack scanners with Portspoof

More Features

In addition to the features already described, Portspoof also lets you log any scans it detects. Just add the -l /path/logfile parameter when you launch Portspoof. This is not strictly necessarily, because by default the application logs all activities in /var/log/syslog. To save resources, disable syslog logging using the -D parameter.

The parameters -p port and -i IP let you define the port and IP address on which Portspoof will accept requests. To automatically load Portspoof at system startup time, Piotr Duszynski also delivers an init script in the system_files directory of the source directory tree. You might need to adapt the standard file, and you will definitely need to copy it to the right /etc/rc_runlevel.d directory. Portspoof usually launches with service emulation and custom payloads.

Portspoof runs smoothly most of the time; because it is still a fairly young program, however, it has not yet been sufficiently tested in all combinations and facets. For example, Portspoof repeatedly crashed in our test during fuzzing with Red Riding Hood and signatures, while it easily carried out its work with random payloads and service signatures. It makes sense to set up a cronjob that periodically checks whether the daemon is still running and optionally notifies the admin or restarts Portspoof if necessary.


In Portspoof is a fine little program that can be a tough and potentially infinite quagmire for port scanners. The installation and setup are simple; the service emulator uses hardly any system resources in operation, and the sample files and scripts take much of the configuration work off the user's shoulders. The already-extensive signature database is likely to grow as more users discover the program and start to add to the collection.


  1. Portspoof:

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